Toby Knapp - Static Warfare
Progressive/Heavy Metal/Black Metal
Posted 7/30/13 3:12 PM EST
Toby Knapp is back and has brought a blend of heavier but more thoughtful metal with him in Static Warfare. The aggression and virtuosity is still there in his playing and his compositions, but there seems to be more depth to this album than his last outing; The Campaign. Not to knock The Campaign, this reviewer stands by the praises I gave it, but upon listening to this latest release from Toby and Shredguy Records it's clear that Toby is pulling from somewhere else within himself to produce these nine songs. Knapp is fusing different styles much more on this album and has created a metal hybrid that is definitely more creative and overall more attention grabbing than his last album.
Truly not to dwell, but this reviewer hopes that in the future Knapp is in the headspace he was while writing Static Warfare, it really is a great blend of genres creating a solid album of guitar led and driven power, fury, and depth. When we hear the phrase "shredding guitar" on a metal album, especially instrumental albums, listeners have a tendency to think they know what they're in for leading to a jaded view of a genre that is capable of so much when guided by guitar virtuoso musicians like Toby Knapp and labels/producers like Shredguy Records! Credit also has to be given to Toby's gear that was used for the recording of Static Warfare, per the liner notes; "the equipment used for this album had been in a storage garage for two years and had suffered the wrath of the elements and an army of ants." Thank you Fostex MR-8 MK. 2 Portable Multitracker, TDK DA-5900 CD Recorder, Alesis SR-16 Drum Machine, Boss ME-30 Effects Pedal, Marshall Valvestate 100 Watt Head, Fender Strats and Dimarzio Pickups, and Squier Precision Bass for surviving to help create this album!
Knapp also gets accolades for performing everything on Static Warfare, no guest musicians, just Toby, his gear, and compositions. Static Warfare appeals to many fans of many genres if they give Mister Knapp a chance, there's so much in these nine songs that it is hard to focus on one area, one genre; and yet the album doesn't feel scattered for this, which is a rare treat anymore. Do yourself a favor if you like instrumental metal, fusion, and virtuoso guitarists that can put emotion and depth in their playing along with hardcore skill and calculation, check out Static Warfare from Toby Knapp.
"The Impossiblity of Reason"
"Not If but When"
"Trashed Radiation Shield"
"The Arrival of Polaris"
"The Doomsday Clock"
Choice cuts are the title track, "The Impossibility of Reason", "Trashed Radiation Shield" (personal favorite), and "The Doomsday Clock".
Static Warfare by Toby Knapp gets a solid 4 out of 5.
For more on Toby Knapp visit www.tobyknappmusic.com.
- Michael Meade